Obama: Control College Costs, Raise Dropout Age (education week)In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama called directly on universities to hold down costs and urged states to raise the dropout age to 18.• Teacher Beat Blog: Obama Offers Teacher Proposals in State of the Union
Obama'' graduate high school or else is a BAD idea. In the old days. traditionally and biologically, kids are adults by junior high school. It wasn't until WWII that the idea came about that EVERYBODY had to go to high school.
At the turn of the century, most high schools required examinations to get in, high school was only for the elites.
Then came the idea that high school was for everybody whether you trained for a trade or went to a college, and everybody had to go the same comprehensive high school, a model that Europe and Asia did NOT follow - they had DIFFERENT high schools for different tracks and different talents. The "world class" one-high-standard-for-all is strictly an American fantasy.
The next level is that EVERYBODY has to be ready for college and be able write a novel and synthesize new ways to do basic arithmetic at a graduate math student level by 4th grade. Oh wait, we ALREADY have state standards with this ridiculous idea - that was WASL and all the other flavors of "certificate of mastery" characteristic of outcome based education debacle. Then everybody has to have 2 years of tech training or college. Already anyone who doesn't have a 4 year degree is "at risk" and is doomed to a poor paying job, never mind that police and firefighters don't even need a 2 year degree to have a job that can eventually pays from $45,000 up to $80,000 a year with early retirement benefits.
Eventually everybody will have to have a phd, and then "lifelong learning" where you never ever graduate until you die, and are enrolled in government school and daycare the minute you leave the womb. Just because some people are billionares or millionares or pull in $60,000 a year does NOT MEAN EVERYBODY HAS TO MAKE THAT KIND OF MONEY.
If anything, we need to return to the notion that you can be a responsible adult if you chose to marry and have kids as soon as you are able, or chose to work and start a household or leave school at 16 and not be classified as a confirmed high risk failure. School teachers used to be girls that now would go to high school. Now they don't want to declare you grown up until you're ready to retire.
My saying - government cannot promise or require ANY level of education or proficiency. Any attempt to do so is evil and doome to fail.